Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday Tips: The Hammer Through

This was some of the best pieces of advice I ever received about a first draft:

  • Hammer though the first draft without ever going back to revise. -Mark Henshaw
  • Give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft. -Ernest Hemingway
  • A first draft should not take more than three months, a season. -Steven King 

To actually manage the Hammer Through, here are some big things that help:

  • Eliminate distractions. (TV, Phone, Facebook, Internet, squirrels outside the window)
  • Eat right. Hydrate.
  • Get exercise.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Set aside writing time daily, first.
  • Write even if you don't feel inspired.
  • Write the story for yourself. Write a story that you want to read.

Some people go to coffee shops or the library to write. I can't do that. I always write at the same place and times. I have created a Pavlovian association with my desk and productivity.

Never answer the phone when you are writing. They can text or email you. Unless it's your wife who knows what your reserved writing hours actually are.

Use National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) to build the habit if you like. Then  keep at it.

--For me, every month is NaNoWriMo!

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